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Wake Forest Presbyterian Church


Welcome Fall 2023!

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." Mahatma Gandhi

September & October

Time to dig, plant,

water, and mulch!

"A seed knows how to wait...a seed is alive while it waits." Hope Jahren


Fall Events


09 & 19 Plant cool weather seedlings

19 - Guests in the Garden - St. John's Episcopal Church families -

Sow vegetable seeds in Table Planters

26 - Plant cool weather seedlings


6 - The Beacon Team - Louis Engle & coworkers in the garden


17 - Guests in the Garden - St. John's Episcopal Church families


21 - 5th Annual Sweet Potato Harvest & Cookout


Oct. 25 - HS Youth in the Garden


November & December

Harvest cool weather crops throughout the month

TBD - Install row covers

Nov. 1 - WFPC HS Youth in the Garden


Nov. 5 WFPC Club 4/5 & Middle School Youth in the Garden

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant."

Robert Lewis Stevenson


"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." Audrey Hepburn

This article was published in The Wake Weekly on August 25, 2023. We are grateful to the Wake Weekly for granting The Giving Garden permission to share this article on our website.

We are honored and delighted to work, play, and break bread with our Ukrainian friends

in The Giving Garden!


Volunteer Opportunities

In the Garden

It takes a team to run a community garden!

Join a team and help The Giving Garden reduce food insecurity in your community.

  • Fertilizer Team: Manage fertilizing needs for specific plots in the garden

  • Mulching Team: Move mulch with tractor or wheelbarrow to plots & spread mulch around new plantings and between rows.

  • Planting Team: Planting seeds and seedlings in plot rows, raised beds, and/or table planters.

  • Row Cover Team: Help install row covers for winter crops.

  • Tilling Team: Till rows before new plantings in the spring and fall. A tiller will be provided, but volunteers may use their own if they prefer.

  • Painting Team: Various small projects

  • Watering Team: As needed.

  • Weeding Team: As needed.


Many people don't realize that a lot of garden tasks take place outside of the garden.

This is a partial list of ways in which volunteers can support the garden without being in the garden.

  • Promotion: Laminate photos for promotional displays. Spread the word about The Giving Garden.

  • Harvests: Request produce boxes from your local grocery store, pick up and deliver to the garden in the spring.

  • Painting: Clean and spray paint used plant markers (paint stir-sticks) for the next planting. Paint garden furniture.

  • Fellowship: Donate paper goods for fellowship events.

  • Garden Maintenance: Clean and sharpen hand tools as needed. Bleach tomato stakes post growing season. Take recyclables and trash to the landfill once a month or so.

  • Wildlife management: Fill bird feeders and birdbath. Clean bird feeders as needed.

  • Website: Submit garden stories, photos, art, recipes, etc. to the garden website. Provide occasional snacks or bottled water for volunteers on special garden workdays.

  • Arts & Crafts: Sew cushion covers, flags, etc. Make signs. Join the Art Team

  • Networking: Attend a Capital Area Food Network (CAFN) meeting (a non-profit of Wake County citizens and organizations working together to support, sustain, and improve our local food system.)

Please contact Pam Schulze if you're interested in being on a garden team or part of our behind-the-scenes team, or text 919-522-3146.


News You Can Use

A fall garden can be just as rewarding as a summer garden. Each season has its own beauty. Working in the garden on cool, breezy days is a huge advantage, especially when surrounded by fall color!

In Wake Forest, it's time to tend to the needs of your lawn, annuals, perennials, flower bulbs, herbs, and vegetables. Many cool season vegetables will provide you with harvests throughout the cold months ahead. Who doesn't love fresh picked lettuce from the garden for a salad in winter?!



  • Plant peonies just below soil line in early fall, in a location shielded from afternoon sun. They'll flower in the spring.


  • Order spring flowering bulbs late Sept.-Oct. Store in cool, dry location until soil temperature is below 60 deg. F. Plant in Nov. to early Dec.

  • Place amaryllis in a pot in a cool, semi-dark location in late Sept. and withhold water to induce dormancy. Remove foliage when leaves turn brown. Keep dormant bulb in a cool (50-55 degree) location for at least 8 weeks, then bring indoors to a warm location and begin watering; keep potting mix moist, but not wet, until growth appears.


  • For spring blooms, sow seeds of hardy annuals and biennials such as calendula, pansy, sweet alyssum, stock, viola, and dianthus.

  • Remove most spent flowers regularly, letting just a few go to seed. Cosmos or larkspur will provide seed for next year.

Herbs - See "How to Dry Herbs" & "How to Freeze Herbs" below

  • Plant: Plant garlic cloves after soil temperatures have cooled, Sept.-Nov., for spring harvest. Direct so parsley for fall crop.

  • Prune: Harvest all annual herbs before first frost.


  • Journal and review your vegetable garden's successes, challenges, and failures. Begin planning ways to improve your garden next year.

  • Plant cool-season crops.

  • Begin harvesting lettuce and mustard.

  • Look for slugs on lettuce and mustard. Slug Traps: Place pieces of cardboard in the garden and lift them up in the early morning to reveal slugs. Alternatively, place shallow containers in the garden or dig holes and sink tin cans into them. Fill containers with cheap beer. Slugs are highly attracted to the yeast in beer.

  • Plant a cover crop from mid-Sept. to mid-Oct. to increase organic matter in garden beds, reduce weeds and prevent erosion throughout the winter. Plant winter rye, annual ryegrass, and crimson clover in the fall and turn them over in the spring.

Crimson clover



  • Water: 1" per week, in the early morning.

  • Aerate if grown in clay soils or subject to heavy traffic.

  • Add fertilizer and lime based on soil test results. If soil wasn't tested, fertilize (16-4-8) 1lb. per 1,000 sq.ft. Add lime if needed, 1 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft. Mow weekly to 2 1/2"-3".


  • Water 1" per week, in early morning

  • Fertilize with 1 lb. potassium per 1,000 sq.ft. Do not apply nitrogen to minimize spring dead spot. Mow weekly to 1"-2".

  • Plant cool-season lawns with seed or install sod, Sept. into early Oct.

Pest Management

  • Watch for large patch, brown patch, leaf spot, dollar spot, and fairy rings. Treat with proper water management, thatch control, and fungicide if needed.

  • Check for and control white grubs. Fall is the best time to control white grubs with milky spore disease.

Fairy Ring




  • Perform a soil test.

  • Begin planting woody ornamentals.

  • Water evergreens before hard freezes to prevent root desiccation .


  • Move, divide, or plant flowering perennials. Cut back to 4-6" to reduce transplant stress.

  • Trim coral bells (Heuchera) back to the crown. Deadhead climbing aster, but don't prune until spring. After a killing frost, cut dead foliage of deciduous fern back to the ground.

  • Allow flowers to end their blooming cycle naturally. To save seeds from flowers, dry, date, label, and store them in a cool, dry place.


  • Order spring flowering bulbs late Sept.-Oct. Store in cool, dry location until soil temperature is below 60 deg. F. Plant in Nov. to early Dec.

  • Dig up and store tender bulbs (dahlia, caladium, etc.) when foliage turns yellow or after first frost.

  • Mulch bearded iris lightly (1") for winter protection and weed control (remove mulch after winter).

  • Apply a thick layer of mulch over amaryllis in the garden.


  • Remove dead annuals and clear debris from beds.

  • Plant winter flowering annuals such as ornamental cabbage, pansy, & viola.

  • Bring geranium (Pelargonium) in before the first frost. Overwinter in pots or store bare-root in paper bags.


  • Harvest last of warm-season vegetables & continue planting cool season vegetables.

  • Mulched fall carrots can be left in the ground all winter and harvested as needed.

  • Clean up garden beds of plant debris to prevent overwintering of pests and diseases.

  • Introduce cold frames and other types of season extenders.


  • Consider planting cool weather herbs such as bay tree, lemongrass, ginger, horseradish, or turmeric.

  • Continue harvesting herbs.


Cool-Season lawns:

  • Water 1" per week in the early morning if rainfall isn't adequate.

  • Mow weekly to 2 1/2"-3" except on newly seeded lawn.

Warm-Season lawns:

  • Water to ensure soil doesn't get powder dry.

  • Mow if needed to 1"-2"

  • Watch for large patch, white grubs, brown patch, leaf spot, and fairy ring. Treat before lawn goes dormant, using proper water management, thatch control, and fungicide if needed



  • Water soil prior to a hard freeze. Moist soil holds four times more heat.

  • Clean up fallen camellia petals to prevent spread of camellia petal blight.

  • Weed before adding much to planting areas.


Plant spring-flowering bulbs in Nov. or early Dec. when soil temperature is below 60 degrees F. This will promote root development and satisfy the cold requirement of 6-20 weeks, depending on cultivar.


Add organic matter to the soil. Add a 2"-3" layer of mulch only after soil temp. has cooled after a freeze.


Trim chrysanthemum to 4"-6" after blooming ends to promote root development. If planted in the ground, they may act as a perennial and return next year.


Hardy annuals such as poppy, bachelor buttons, etc. need light to germinate. Sew seeds on top of mulch.


  • Perform a soil test to determine the need for pH and/or nutrient adjustment. The NC Dept. of Agriculture provides free soil tests from April 1-Nov. 30. Most vegetables prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5.

  • Cover cool season greens if temp. drops below freezing for continued winter harvest. Kale, collards, and cabbage collards can be harvested throughout the winter.


How to Dry Herbs

Air Drying:

1. Pick herbs early in the morning to preserve volatile oils. Cut herbs with garden shears so that long stems remain.

2. Rinse and set on a clean kitchen towel to dry, flipping occasionally to dry off as much water as possible.

3. When herbs are dry, gather 3-4 stems of the same herb and tie together using cotton kitchen twine, leaving string to hang the bundles.

4. Hang bundles upside-down in a dark dry place until they’re dry enough to crumble (1-2 weeks).

5. Carefully take down the bundles and lay them on parchment paper, and untie them.

Pull leaves off stems, place whole leaves inside lidded containers that seal tightly, and store in a cool place, away from light and heat.

6. Crumble leaves in the palm of your hand as you use them.

Oven-drying (Electric oven only): Place herb leaves or seeds on a baking tray and put them in an open oven on lowest temperature for 2-4 hours.

Microwave-drying: Spread leaves in an even layer on a paper towel; microwave on high for 30 seconds. Toss herbs and continue to microwave in 15-30 second increments until herbs are completely dried. Herbs are dry if leaves crumble easily. Store in an airtight container.

How to Freeze Herbs

Puree herbs in water or olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays for later use in soups or stews. Once frozen, pop out herb cubes and store them in an airtight container.

Basil pureed in olive oil can be frozen; adding salt further preserves it. This is a great way to prepare basil that will be used later for pesto.



Basic Pot of Pole Beans
Download DOCX • 13KB

Roasted Pole Beans
Download DOCX • 13KB

Sauteed Swiss Chard With Parmesan Cheese
Download DOCX • 14KB

Sweet Potato Soup a la Dr. Carver
Download DOCX • 25KB


"Life begins the day you start a garden." Chinese Proverb


© Wake Forest Presbyterian Church

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